Hartford County, Connecticut
Subject: Leonard Chester.
Leonard Chester, came from Leicestershire, England in 1633; was an early proprietor of Watertown. He was one of the small colony that went from Watertown in 1635 to settle Wethersfield, Conn., which was at first called Watertown, Conn. There was a locality in Watertown, long known as "Chester's Meadow," and "Chester Brook," William Chester sold 13 acres of planting ground at Watertown, Mass., to William Paine, prior to 1642.
Leonard Chester from Brady or Blaby, Leicestershire, England, of a very respectable lineage, came to New England in 1633 then aged about 23 or 24 years of age, and settled at Watertown, Massachusetts. Two years afterward he left Watertown, Mass., with the col-ony that first planted at Pyquag, which the named Watertown, CT. Soon after, by the Court, they renamed Wethersfield, CT. He left Watertown previous to the making out of the List of Possessions, and his name, therefore is not found in any list of proprietors. But it is recorded that one of the lots of Mr. William Paine was bought of Mr. Chester. Several circumstances, in confirmation of tradition, evince his respectable social posi-tion and that he was comparatively wealthy. His name occurs only once in Massachusetts Colonial Records, in April, 1634, and then, although so young a man, he was designated as "Mr. Chester" Although he remained at Watertown, Mass., only about two years, a con-siderable water-course (the outlet of Sherman's Pond, sometimes of late called the West Branch of Beaver Brook) was named for him, Chester Brook, Watertown, Mass. These names were long retained.
In laying out the Naubuc Farms, on the east side of the Connecticut River, now in Glastenbury) previous to 1640, which was "the first tract of land in the Colony regularly surveyed and laid out into farm," Mr. Chester's allotment was the largest except for four: viz.
1. To Elder Clement Chaplin, 1,200 acres.
2. To Matthew Mitchell (father of Rev. Jonathan Mitchell of Cambridge, Mass) 900 acres.
3. To Governor George Wyllis, 480 acres.
4. To Governor Thomas Welles, 435 acres.
5. To Mr. Leonard Chester, 432 acres.
The next largest was to Mr. Thurston Raynor, 330 acrs.
In the family pedigree chart of Chester Families of Blaby, Leicestershire, England, William Chester of London and of Barnet, County of Hertford, England. Robert Chester of London and of Barnet County, Hertford, whose first wife was Bridget, dau. of John Sharpe of Frisby, Super Wreke. He had a second wife, unamed. Augustine Chester of Blaby who died in 1626, and his wife, Phoebe, dau. of John Michell; m. 1598. Charles Chester b. 1599 m. Alice Brickwood in 1624 and had, Jane b. 1632, Amy b. 1635 and Charles b. 1635.
The eldest son of Leonard Chester was John Chester, by his wife, Mary (Nevill) Chester, born at Watertown, Mass., where she was left, on account of her health, until he could go and prepare accomodations for her. We have not found this birth in the town records which did not begin to be kept until after Mr. Clements removal to Connecticut. He was a Juror in 1643, 1644 and 1645. He was a Grand Juror in 1643-1644. He died December 11, 1648 aged 38 or 39, and his widow, Mary, married (2) the Honorable Richard Russell of Charlestown, Mass. on Feb 21, 1655-6. She died at Charlestown, Mass., Nov 30, 1688, her Will dated Nov. 20th). Children:
1. John Chester b. at Watertown, Mass., Aug 3, 1635; a Captain of Wethersfield, Ct.
2. Dorcas Chester b. at Wethersfield, CT., Nov 1, 1637; m. Reverend Samuel Whiting.
3. Stephen Chester b. March 3, 1639, died April 23, 1705; unmarried, his brotehr, Capt. John Chester was the administrator of his estate. Inventory, ?200. 15s. 6d.; his estate distributed to his brother John, to his brother-in-law, Rev. Samuel Whiting, and to the two children of Thomas Russell of Charlestown, Mass. who had married his sister, Prudence, viz.: Thomas Jr. and Prudence.
4. Mary Chester b. Jan 15, 1641; died at Charlestown, Sept 15, 1699, unmarried.
5. Prudence Chester b. Feb 16, 1643; m. at Charlestown, Dec 30, 1669, Captain Thomas Russell, Esq., of Charlestown. He died Oct 20, 1676 (his grave has a monument) She died Oct 21, and her Inventory proved Dec 5, 1678. Children:
1. Mary Russell b. Sept 27, 1670; m. John Watkins. Mary, the wife of John Watkins, appeared Aug 1, 1693, as one of the heirs of Thomas and Prudence Russell. She prob. died early.
2. Thomas Russell b. Mar 30, 1672; was living in 1705.
3. Prudence Russell bap. March 28, 1675; was living in 1705.
6. Eunice Chester b. June 15, 1645; m. Feb 25, 1673, Captain Richard Sprague of Charles-
town, Mass. son of Ralph Sprague. She died May 27, 1676.
7. Mercy Chester b. Feb 14, 1674; died at Charlestown, Mass. in 1669. Her Will dated
August 5th (Inventory, Dec 18) 1669, mentions her brother, John and her three sisters,
Dorcas Whiting, Prudence Chester and Eunice Chester.
(II) Captain John Chester of Wethersfield, CT m. February, 1653-4, Sarah Welles, dau. of the Honorable Thomas Welles of Wethersfield, CT, sucessively Treasurer, Secretary, Lieut. Governor and Governor of Connecticut. He was admitted freeman in May 1658, was a member of the first troop in Connecticut, and a Deputy in May, 1676, and several times afterwards. He was very useful and influential in that Colony. He died Feb. 23, 1697-8 and his widow, Sarah died Dec 12, 1698. His Will, dated Feb. 21, 1697-8, and proved May 6, 1698. Inventory, 1,103 pounds. Children:
1. Mary Chester b. Dec 23, 1654; m. Feb. 14, 1676-7, John Wolcott. She died July 10, 1689.
2. John Chester, b. June 10, 1656; was a Major of Wethersfield.
3. Sarah Chester, b. Nov 11, 1657; m. Dec 5, 1689, Simon Wolcott of Windsor, CT.
4. Stephen Chester b. May 26, 1659; was of Wethersfield, CT., m. Dec 17, 1691, Jemima Treat, b. 1668, dau. of James & Rebecca Treat of Wethersfield, CT. He died Feb 9, 1697-8; Inventory, 1,140 pounds, distributed April 5, 1714 to Widow Jemima, 210 pounds, 11 shillings and 10 pence; to son Stephen Chester, 500 pounds 11 shilings and 2 pence; to his daughters, Dorothy, Sarah and Mercy, each 250 pounds, 5 shilings and 7 pence.
1. Dorothy Chester b. Sept 5, 1692 m. Martin Kellogg.
2. Sarah Chester b. 1693-4; m. _____ Lamb.
3. Mercy Chester b. Oct 26, 1696, was of Wethersfield and died unmarried, her estate was distributed Feb. 6, 1749, to her two sisters - Dorothy, the wife of Martin Kellogg, 794 pounds, 8 shillings; 10-1/2d. and the same sum to the widow,
4. Stephen John Chester, b. Feb., 1697-8; grad. Yale Coll., 1724; died 1725.
5. Thomas Chester, b. Mar. 23, 1661-2; of Wethersfield, Ct. m. Dec. 10, 1684,Mary Treat, b. 1666, dau of Richard & Sarah Treat, of Wethersfield (Glasonbury). He died Dec. 5, 1712, aged 60 yrs., and his widow died in 1748, aged 81 yrs. To his widow he bequeated movables and 152 pounds, 7 pence and to each of his two daughters, 746 pounds, 11 shillings and 6 pence.
1. Eunice Chester b. Nov. 22, 1685; m. about 1717, Elisha Williams, b. Aug. 26, 1694, son of Reverend William Williams of Deerfield; grad. at Harvard Coll., 1711; ordained at Newington, in Wethersfield, Oct. 22, 1722; he afterwards studied law, engaged in civil and military life, and attained to the rank of a Colonel and that of Judge. In 1726, he was elected Rector of Yale College, and held that office for thirteen years. His wife, Eunice, died May 3, 1750. He m. (2) in England, then re-turned and died July 25, 1755.
2. Samuel Chester, b. Sept 19, 1696, died Dec 14, 1700.
3. John Chester b. Dec 17, 1699; d. Dec. 14, 1700.
4. Mary Chester b. Jan 6, 1706.
6. Samuel Chester b. May 23, 1664; d. 1689.
7. Prudence Chester b. Dec 10, 1666.
8. Eunice Chester b. May 17, 1668; m. Timothy Stevens - (Rev. T. Stevens who grad.
Harvard Coll. 1687; died 1725) She died June 16, 1698.
Reverend Samuel Whiting Jr. born in England in 1633, son of Rev. Samuel Whiting of Lynn, Mass., by his 2nd wife Elizabeth, the dau. of the Right Honorable Oliver Oliver St. John of England. He grad. at Harvard College, 1653, settled at Billerica, Mass., in 1658 and was ordained there Nov 11, 1663. He married at Salem, Mass., Nov 12, 1656, Dorcas Chester of Wethersfield, CT. She died Feb 15th and he died Feb 28th, 1713.
1. Elizabeth Whiting b. 1660; admitted to full communion, church at Charlestown, June 29, 1683, m. in 1702, Rev. Thomas Clark as his 2nd wife, he b. Mar 2, 1653, the son of Elder Jonas Clark of Cambridge, Mass., by his 2nd wife, Elizabeth. He grad. Harvard College, 1670; and was the 2nd minister of Chelmsford, Mass., and the successor to Reverend John Fiske. He died 1704.
2. Samuel Chester b. Jan 19, 1662; was a Deacon of Billerica, died March 14, 1715, leaving children.
3. John Chester b. Aug 1, 1664; grad. Harvard Coll. 1685; ordained at Lancaster, Mass. Dec 3, 1691; was shot and then scalped by the Indians on Sept 11, 1697. He left a widow, Alice. He refused quarter and fought till overpowered.
4. Oliver Chester, b. Nov 8, 1665; was a Magistrate of Billerica, Mass. for many years, m. Jan 22, 1690, Anna, dau. of Capt Jonathan and Elizabeth (Poulter) Danforth of Billerica. 9 children.
5. Dorothy Chester.
6. Joseph Chester b. Feb 7, 1669; grad. Harvard College, 1690; died Sept 6, 1701.
7. James Chester.
8. Eunice Chester.
9. Benjamin Chester. died.
10. Benjamin Chester (again).
Major John Chester of Wethersfield, CT., who m. Nov 25, 1686, Hannah Talcott b. in 1685, dau. of Captain Samuel and Hannah (Holyoke) Talcott of Wethersfield (Glastonbury), CT and the grand daughter of John & Dorothy (Smith) Talcott of Wethersfield. He died Dec. 14, 1711; and his widow Hannah, died July 23, 1741 aged 71 yrs. Children:
1. Penelope Chester b. Oct 21, 1687; died soon.
2. Mehitable Chester b. Jan 29, 1688-9.
3. Mary Chester b. Mar 8, 1691.
4. Penelope Chester b. Nov 18, 1695.
5. Hannah Chester b. May 15, 1696; died May 29, 1749.
6. Prudence Chester, b. Mar 4, 1699; m. Dec 13, 1731 (?1713?) Colonel John Stoddard, Esq., of Northampton, Feb 17, 1682, youngest son of Reverend Solomon and Esther (Warham) Stoddard of Northampton; grad. Harvard Coll., 1791. He died at Boston, Mass. June 19, 1748 and his widow died Sept 11, 1780, aged 81 yrs. (for his genealogy and the journal of his mission with the Rev. John Williams, "The redeemed captive" to the French author-ities in Canada in the years 1713 and 1714, see Geneal. Register V., pp. 21 to42).
1. Mary Stoddard b. Nov 27, 1732; died July 12, 1812; m. Colonel John Worthington of Springfield, Mass.; who grad. Harvard Coll. 1740. He was High Sheriff of Hampshire Co. She was his 2nd wife.
2. Prudence Stoddard b. May 28, 1734; m. Nov 6, 1760, Ezekiel Williams, Esq., of Wethersfield, High Sheriff of Hartford County.
3. Solomon Stoddard b. May 29, 1736; grad. at Yale Coll. 1756; d. Dec 19, 1827; settled at Northampton and was High Sheriff of Hampshire Co.
4. Israel Stoddard b. April 28, 1741; grad. Yale Coll., 1758; settled at Berkshire and was High Sheriff of Berkshire County.
7. Eunice Chester b. May 11, 1701.
8. John Chester b. June 30, 1703; grad. Yale Coll. 1722.
9. Sarah Chester b. July 1, 1707; m. Colonel Israel Williams, Judge, etc., of Hatfield, b. Nov 30, 1709; the youngest son of Rev. William Williams of Hatfield and the brother of Rev. William Williams of Weston, and of Rector Elisha Williams, grad. Harvard Coll. 1729. He died in 1789; she died at Hatfield, Sept 18, 1770 aged 63 yrs.
10. Thomas Chester b. Aug 31, 1711; died soon.
Colonel John Chester, Jr. Esq., of Wethersfield, CT; grad. Harvard College, 1722; A.M., 1729. He married, Nov 19, 1747, Sarah Noyes, dau. of Reverend James Noyes of New Haven. He was a Representative in the General Assembly, and an Assistant, was "distinguished for integrity and brilliancy of talents." He was also a Judge of the County Court, "was one of the most important men in the colony." He was useful in the Church and "a father to the fatherless, and a God to the widow." He died suddenly working in his hay-field, on September 11, 1771, aged 69 yrs., leaving his widow, Sarah. In 1748 he is said have been the only male in his line, of the name Chester.
1. John Chester, b. Jan 18, 1749; grad. Yale College, 1766, A.M. and Harvard Coll. in 1775. In 1775 he joined the army in the siege of Boston, at the head of a company of Volunteers, and signalized himself at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and for his bravery was advanced to the command of a regiment. From 1772 to 1788, he was often elected a Representative and for several years in succession, he was Speaker of the House. In 1788 and repeatedly afterwards, he was elected State Counciller; was also Judge of Probate and of the County Court. In 1791, President George Washington appointed him Supervisor of the District of Connecticut. He married, November 25, 1773, Elizabeth, a dau. of the Honorable Jabez Huntington of Norwich, CT. Colonel John Chester died Nov 4, 1809. His widow died July 1, 1839.
1. Elizabeth Chester, b. Nov 10, 1774; m. June 8, 1807, Eleazer F. Backus as his 2nd wife, then a bookseller in Albany - in 1855, he was a resident of Philadelphia, where she died. Children:
1. John Chester Backus, a Presbyterian minister.
2. Trumbell Backus, a Presbyterian minister.
2. Mary Chester b. April 20, 1779; m. June 3, 1806, Captain Ebenezer Welles of Brattleboro, Vermont.
3. Hannah Chester b. Oct 27, 1781; m. Sept 26, 1808, Charles Chauncey, Jr., Esq., LL.D., born 1792; settled at Philadelphia; became one of the most eminent jurists and advocates of his time. He was distinguished for his courteousness and kindness, for his strict integrity, and most exemplary private life. Hannah died Feb 6, 1821, and he d. Sept 30, 1849. Children:
1. Charles Chauncey who grad. Yale Coll. 1828, studied law and d. 1832.
2. Elizabeth Chester Chauncey, unm., of Philadelphia.
3. Susan Vaux Chauncey who d. Mar 26, 1836, unm.
4. Hannah Chauncey, was of Philadelphia, unm.
5. John Chester Chauncey.
6. John Chester Chauncey (again) - both died in infancy.
4. Sarah Chester, b. June 17, 1783; lived in Philadelphia, unmarried.
5. John Chester, b. Aug 17, 1785; grad. Yale Coll. 1804; D.D., Union College in 1821; ordained at Hudson, New York, in 1810, where he remained until 1815, when he was in-stalled Pastor of the 2nd Presbyterian Church of Albant. He m. Rebecca, dau. of Robert Ralston, Esq. of Philadelphia. Ill health compelled him to withdraw from pastoral labors, and he retired to Philadelphia, where he died January 12, 1829, beloved for his virtues, and admired for his talents.
1. Sarah Ralston Chester who married Reverend Samuel Beach Jones.
2. Elizabeth Huntington Chester, unmarried.
3. Hannah Chauncey Chester who m. Jonathan Howard Hasbrouch.
4. Maria Dorsey Chester, who died in infancy.
5. Mary Wells Chester, who m. Martin Bremer Inches.
6. Rebecca Ralston Chester, who m. Abram Suydam Mesier.
6. Charlotte Chester b. March 20, 1787; died in Philadelphia July 19, 1844, unm.
7. Henry Chester b. October 3, 1790; died soon.
8. Julia Chester b. Mara 15, 1792; m. April 2, 1816, Matthew C. Ralston, a merchant of Philadelphia and son of Robert Ralston, Esq.
9. Henry Chester b. Dec 23, 1793; a grad. of Union College, 1814; a lawyer of Philadelphia, where he died unmarried. He was distinguished for his integrity and for his very kind, courteous and gentlemanly demeanor.
10. William Chester, b. Nov. 20, 1796; a grad. of Union College, 1815, D.D., of Washington College, Penn.; ordained in the First Presbyterian Church at Hudson, N.Y. in 1822. In 1832, he was appointed Secretary of the First Presbyterian Board of Education, which office he still holds. He res. at Philadelphia. He m. in 1826, Frances M. White, dau. of Doctor Samuel White, a distinguished physician of Hudson.
1. Elizabeth Chester.
2. John Chester who grad. New Jersey College, 1851. He grad. M.D, Univ. of Pennsylvania, 1853.
11. George Chester, b. June 14, 1798; died in infancy.
2. Leonard Chester b. Sept, 1750; grad. at Yale College, 1769; m. Sept. 12, 1776, Sarah Williams, born at Deerfield, Mass., Oct 31, 1758, the dau. of Colonel Williams and ___ Wells Williams of Pittsfield. They moved to New York, where he died. Children:
1. Leonard Williams Pepperell Chester b. Dec. 20, 1777.
2. Sarah Chester b. Aug 8, 1779.
3. Henrietta Chester b. Mar 8, 1781.
4. Sophia Chester (twin) b. Mar 8, 1781.
5. John Noyes Chester, b. Mar. 20, 1783.
6. Sally Williams Chester b. Nov 2, 1784.
7. William Williams Chester b. July 13, 1786.
3. Sarah Chester b. Aug 12, 1752; m. Thomas Coit of Norwich.
4. Abigail Chester b. May 27, 1754; m. Joseph Webb, a merchant of Wethersfield, Ct. had 12 children, not listed.
5. Stephen Chester b. October 28, 1761; grad. Yale Coll., 1780, was of Wethersfield, Conn.; was Sheriff of Hartford County, 1789; m. Elizabeth Mitchell, a dau. of Judge Mitchell of Wethersfield. He died 1835. Children: 1. Stephen Mitchell Chester of New York; a grad. of Yale Coll., 1813.
2. Walter Chester of Erie, Penn.
3. John Chester of Detroit, Michigan.
4. Maria Chester who m. ____ Strong.
6. Thomas Chester b. Jan. 7, 1764; grad. Yale Coll. 1780; died 1831. Was for many years Clerk of the Court at Hartford, Conn. He m. Esther M. Bull of Hartford, CT. They had one son, Alfred Chester, who grad. Yale Coll., 1818; was a clergyman. Also four daughters not listed.
BACK -- HOME
© Copyright GenealogyTrails